As a kid, I seemed to make friends and play football, cricket etc., no problem. However, around the time of puberty, while people I knew became more interested in mixing with the opposite sex, I did not seem to understand how to go about it or even cared that much. Naturally, I had the usual sexual urges of a teenager, but socially I had no clue what to do. I have never really had a proper girlfriend since.
Is this experience something that is relatively common with people on the spectrum?
Long time no see!
I went through the same, naturally, as a teen. I didn't have my first girlfriend until I was 23 - and that was only because she chatted me up!
I've had girlfriends and partners since - but not many, and with long gaps between them. After that one at 23 (it lasted around 7 months), I was 31 before I had the next one. I met her through an ad in the local paper.
I never understood the 'rules' of attraction, flirtation, etc. I never understood how some guys could just go out and get a girlfriend. I especially never understood how some people can just tell, from looking at someone else, whether or not they stand a chance of 'scoring'.
I was in my late 40s before I was finally told by a woman I was seeing that I was blind to flirtation. We'd been meeting up for coffee for weeks. I fancied her, of course, but I didn't know how to take things further. Finally, it was down to her to make the move. She said to me afterwards 'I was giving up hope on you. I thought you weren't interested. I started to think you were gay.'
I still don't get it now.
Hi Tom. Compared to me you're a party animal!!
What you are saying makes a lot of sense. I think it's very likely that it's relatively common with people on the spectrum. And I agree, things seem much easier as a kid. Kids can have an argument one day and be best friends again the next day. Social interaction is less complicated in many ways, and people date or cared about social status. Friends were people you played games with. I also found that things became harder around puberty and that the people I knew started to be less interested in playing games, and more interested in chatting and dating.
I think you've put your finger on it qwerty. Life as a kid is much simpler because there are much less social conventions to understand.
Thanks for that.